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Trail Drive

Musterin’ up the Drive

The boys in the outfit, when we pushed those sad heifers
from Jack’s flats up through the north pass
Was a sorry collection of misfits and no goods,
But brimmin’ with plenty of sass

There was a lad we called Magpie, because like the bird
He’d chow on whatever he’d find
We ‘times called him Maggie, and sometimes Maggot
for reasons that now slip my mind.

They was ‘Lasses O’Rielly, who moved kind of slow
and Turtle, who hadn’t no neck,
And Big Red McCormick, who scowled when he laughed
and told stories that’d scare you to heck.

They was Belch, and then Tub, and a feller named Slim
who weighted in under four-eighteen
And that drover named Dallas, who rode with a whip
‘round his horn, and was known to be mean.

There was a tall skinny dude who rode the left flank,
Bones was what he was named,
On account of the slouchy way he would ride,
hunched over, and loose with the reins,

And a boy from Wyomin’ we referred to as Casper
'Cause he hailed from somewhere up 'round there,
And old Dead-eye Dave, who drew wages from Satan
and could send you to Hell with his stare.

They was Sally, the camp cook, who had a light touch
with a popgut, well-seasoned with sage,
and that youngster called Dumplin’, who’d looked so danged gaunt
the boss never asked him his age.

Yep, those boys in the outfit were a mixed mangy bunch,
the sort you’d best give wide berth
A hash of philosophers, poets and clowns,
but they spoke with the voice of the Earth.

And though my words might make fun, there’s a tear in my eye
‘cause I know in that crew were true friends,
and I’d gladly trade in my wealth and my goods
to ride with that outfit again.

©Jo Lynne Kirkwood - 2001

Movin' on...

Pelican Stewart - Page Two
The Cocinero - Page Three
Night Song - Page Four
The Railhead - Page Five